Mic drums or not (200watts speakers)

Adcc

Junior Member
Hi guys, I have a gig at a local pub in a few days and I was thinking if I should mic my drums or not. I had many gigs there before and I used to put a mic in the kick drum and an omnidirectional in the middle of the drums, between the Tom and floor tom. The pub is a bit big, I think it can fit around 150 people, my drums are Ludwig breakbeats and we play rock, mostly classic rock. With the two mics I had a great sound every time, the problem is that we used to have two 1000 watts speakers, but this time we will have just two 200 watts speakers. Are these speakers strong enough to handle it if I mic the drums? The most important is not to damage the speakers. And of course if I don't do you think they can hear my bass drum at the back?
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
It depends on how loud you want it to be, and how much other stuff is going through those speakers. A subwoofer would help make the kick sound bigger.

Having said that, two mics isn’t hard to set up, and even a small signal through the PA will make the drums carry a bit further, and you can add some reverb too. So you might as well.
 

BGDurham

Regular Poster
I am learning about mixers and PAs now so I'll tesr my knowledge: I think it depends on how you set the gain and volume levels rather than the mics you use. If you set both to low you'll get too little drums in your mix; set both too high your drums will clip; set them appropriately to your situation you should be just right.
 

Capital D

Member
I think you could get away with just mic'ing just the bass drum with a 200 watt setup.

A breakbeat bass drum is pretty small anyway to play rock, I would probably need to mic the bass drum anyway. But, different strokes for different folks. It may be the perfect size for you.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Are you saying that the PA system uses two 200 watt speakers?

1) I don't think that you have to be miced at al.

2) The real limit to volume is not how many watts your PA system has. The real limit is set by how loud you can get before feedback appears. If feedback appears at 100 watts, then that's your maximum volume, 100 watts.
 

bongoman

Junior Member
The practical, non-nerdy answer is I agree with CD that you just need to mic the bass drum, the rest will carry over the other instruments unmiked.

On to the nerdy stuff: Are these speakers powered? That is, do they each have a power cord and an amplifier built in? If so, then the “200 watts” means basically what you think, they are less powerful than the equivalent 1000 watt powered speakers. If they don’t have power cords, they don’t have an amplifier inside, and you’re running a separate PA amp into them. That’s where the question of wattage gets a LOT trickier. I’ll take you down that rabbit hole if that’s your situation, just let me know.

While feedback is always an issue, it’s not a sign of running the PA too hard. It’s just a sign that the mic gain is turned up too high on the mixer, and/or the mics are pointed too near to the speakers. So it’s not related to wattage. Instead, listen for distortion. That’s the warnin

When you hit a big note and you hear a buzzing or farting noise, there’s a chance the speakers themselves (the cone parts) are what’s distorting, and that’s a sign of running too strong of a signal into them. Try turning down the master volume on the amplifier (not the input gain on the mixer) and see if the distortion goes away. If it gets quieter but still distorts, then turn down the input gain a bit, until it stops distorting, and then raise the master volume back up.

If the distortion is at the input gain stage, that’s just a nuisance, it does not actually damage anything. Transistors can happily distort all night long. The distortion that causes damage is when the cones are buzzing and flapping from being pushed too hard.

A compressor or limiter can help, especially with the big peaks of a bass drum. There may be one of those features in your PA.
 

Adcc

Junior Member
The practical, non-nerdy answer is I agree with CD that you just need to mic the bass drum, the rest will carry over the other instruments unmiked.

On to the nerdy stuff: Are these speakers powered? That is, do they each have a power cord and an amplifier built in? If so, then the “200 watts” means basically what you think, they are less powerful than the equivalent 1000 watt powered speakers. If they don’t have power cords, they don’t have an amplifier inside, and you’re running a separate PA amp into them. That’s where the question of wattage gets a LOT trickier. I’ll take you down that rabbit hole if that’s your situation, just let me know.

While feedback is always an issue, it’s not a sign of running the PA too hard. It’s just a sign that the mic gain is turned up too high on the mixer, and/or the mics are pointed too near to the speakers. So it’s not related to wattage. Instead, listen for distortion. That’s the warnin

When you hit a big note and you hear a buzzing or farting noise, there’s a chance the speakers themselves (the cone parts) are what’s distorting, and that’s a sign of running too strong of a signal into them. Try turning down the master volume on the amplifier (not the input gain on the mixer) and see if the distortion goes away. If it gets quieter but still distorts, then turn down the input gain a bit, until it stops distorting, and then raise the master volume back up.

If the distortion is at the input gain stage, that’s just a nuisance, it does not actually damage anything. Transistors can happily distort all night long. The distortion that causes damage is when the cones are buzzing and flapping from being pushed too hard.

A compressor or limiter can help, especially with the big peaks of a bass drum. There may be one of those features in your PA.
Yes, they are powered speakers and the 1000 ones were too. Thanks for your advice. It seems that you know what you're talking about ☺️
 

MrLeadFoot

Silver Member
Since no one addressed your question about the kick being heard in the back without being mic'd, No, your kick will not be heard well in the back without being mic'd in such a setting. That said, in my experience, the type and size of the woofers will be your limiting factor when mic'ing a kick. It won't sound good at all if it's not going through a subwoofer. Note that while an 18" subwoofer would be ideal, you can get away with a 15" subwoofer in smaller venues. But, your kick will sound like cardboard going through the 15" woofers of typical PA main speakers, not to mention that your kick can easily damage them. For that matter, are your mains even 15"? I would think not if they're only 200 watts, so if those mains are 12" speakers, I wouldn't even risk mic'ing a kick into those!
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Since no one addressed your question about the kick being heard in the back without being mic'd, No, your kick will not be heard well in the back without being mic'd in such a setting. That said, in my experience, the type and size of the woofers will be your limiting factor when mic'ing a kick. It won't sound good at all if it's not going through a subwoofer. Note that while an 18" subwoofer would be ideal, you can get away with a 15" subwoofer in smaller venues. But, your kick will sound like cardboard going through the 15" woofers of typical PA main speakers, not to mention that your kick can easily damage them. For that matter, are your mains even 15"? I would think not if they're only 200 watts, so if those mains are 12" speakers, I wouldn't even risk mic'ing a kick into those!

Lead Foot beat me to it. If you only have 200 watts, the only thing I'd mic is the singers and possibly an acoustic guitar if you have one. You can't really push a 15" or 18" sub with just 200 watts. It'll sound really bad. Sounds to me like they probably have a couple of mains on tripods or something. If that's the case, then mic nothing IMO.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
200 watts doesn't sound like quite enough to fill a 150 person pub, but perhaps not intended to fill all the space.
I agree with all of the above on damage. that said but would still guess your small bass drum will not be heard throughout a 150-person pub without any mic'ing.
 
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